Thursday, July 26, 2007

Flooding rivers

We are looking at reports on the TV news. The Thames through Oxford near Osney lock almost burst its banks. The water level is so high that boats cannot get under the low A420 bridge. That road became flooded in places. We came down this way in October 2006, describing the river as being restricted with a lot of water flowing over the weir. To the west of the 'navigation' the Thames and various other streams are expected to pass the built up areas of Botley and Osney. Further down, the river Cherwell joins the Thames having come down the east side of Oxford past the colleges. It is just like Tewkesbury with its two rivers either side.
The rivers Nene and Ouse in East Anglia are also in flood. The Environment Agency have 'reversed' many locks. This procedure opens the lock at both ends which allows the water to flow through. Obviously no 'navigation' by boat is possible under these conditions. These conditions are expected in the winter months so it is quite unusual to find so many flood restrictions now.
Some are blaming 'global warming' and a shift south of the 'gulf stream'. What ever the cause we are suffering from more extreme weather conditions. This is a wakeup call for our government to seriously consider the country's infrastructure. Water and electricity supplies have been compromised where flooding has occurred. Drainage systems must be improved and maintained. It is no good treating them as rubbish dumps and then wondering why the water level rises so quickly. We have seen shopping trolleys thrown into streams. These are very effective at building up a dam.

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